Above the Crowd

Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

“Customer First” Healthcare

December 18, 2017:

The subject of the “consumerization of healthcare” has been around for many years. Most frequently people use this phrase in association with personal technology devices (heart-monitors, exercise accessories, sleep monitors, etc) that allow consumers to take direct control of their health information. There is however, a more important trend that relates alternatively to the consumerization of the “business” of healthcare. While other industries often speak of being “customer centric” or “putting the customer first,” the U.S. healthcare system rarely thinks of the patient as a customer. One could go even farther, and suggest that the U.S. healthcare market is the […]

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Investors Beware: Today’s $100M+ Late-stage Private Rounds Are Very Different from an IPO

February 25, 2015:

[An edited version of the following blog post originally appeared in a modified form in the pages of the weekend edition of the Financial Times last Saturday.] Every successful technology company raises money throughout its lifecycle, perhaps starting with a seed investment and progressing through Series A, B, C, late-stage investments, and, for the most successful companies, an IPO. Historically, different financial institutions specialized in different stages, because the assessment of risk and opportunity was considered unique at each stage — for example, a seed investor was unlikely to do late-stage financing, and vice versa. Over the last few years, the late-stage (pre-IPO) market has become the most competitive, the most crowded, and the frothiest of […]

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Uber’s New BHAG: UberPool

January 30, 2015:

“Can you take me Higher? To a place where blind men see  Can you take me Higher?  To a place with golden streets”      — Creed, Higher In their seminal 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies , Jim Collins and Jerry Poras coined the term BHAG (pronounced BEE-hag) — an acronym that stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” Collins and Porras suggest that the very best companies set an audacious, very long-term goal that shines a light towards “an envisioned future.” BHAGs serve as a rallying cry for the company culture, an ambitious target for the future, and a focusing tool for corporate […]

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Disrupting Finance From Above: Wealthfront

June 18, 2014:

Many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley believe that the financial services industry in the United States is “ripe for disruption. ” The basis of this argument is really two fold. First, they believe that the current offerings from the financial incumbents are lacking. They would argue that credit card fees are too high, that there is a lack of true competition amongst American financial institutions, and that the ACH process is borderline asinine. They also believe that today’s technologies, most notably the smartphone, should allow for remarkably simpler one-click paperless transactions that have transaction costs that are a fraction of the status quo. Consumers want faster, simpler, and cheaper transactions, and entrepreneurs want to give it to them. The problem […]

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